From VSI OpenVMS Wiki
Revision as of 09:53, 24 August 2021 by Jane.doe (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

OpenVMS in an operating system created in 1976 by the Digital Equipment Corporation for the 32-bit PDP-11 computer line that was eventually named VAX. It is currently developed and supported by VMS Software Inc. based in Bolton, MA, USA.


OpenVMS currently works with three architectures: 32-bit VAX, 64-bit Alpha, and 64-bit Integrity. Transition to x86 is underway.


OpenVMS is a multi-user, multitasking operating system that supports virtual memory. OpenVMS supports clustering (up to 96 nodes) that provides distributed processing, resource sharing, and cluster uptimes of dozens of years.

The Open Prefix

The operating system originally called VAX/VMS was renamed to OpenVMS around 1991 to reflect the high degree of support for industry standards such as POSIX.

This prefix is now generally regarded as silent by OpenVMS users and developers calling the operating system "VMS".


Licenses and support for OpenVMS are currently provided by VMS Software Inc. only; see the official website for sales information. There is a free student package that includes a limited VMS license and an emulated Alpha server available for download at the VSI Training website.


Version Date Architecture Producer Key Enhancements/Release Notes
V1.0 25 October 1978 VAX-11/780 Digital Product Description
VAX/VMS Version 1.5 February 1979 VAX-11/780 Digital Version 1.5 Release Notes
V2.0 April 1980 VAX-11/750 Digital Release Notes
V3.0 April 1982 VAX-11/730 Digital Release Notes
V4.0 September 1984 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital VAXclusters, Connection Manager, Distributed Lock Manager, Distributed File System, Distributed RMS, Distributed Job Controller, Improved System Security, MicroVMS, VAX/VMS workstations
V4.2 October 15,1985 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital Volume Shadowing, RMS Journaling
V4.3 December 18,1986 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V4.3-A Jan 06,1986 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V4.4 Jul 14,1986 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V4.5 Nov 14,1986 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V4.5A December 15,1986 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V4.5B March 23,1987 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V4.5C May 04,1987 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V4.6 August 07,1987 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V4.7 December 02,1987 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V4.7A March 28.1988 VAX and MicroVMS for MicroVAX Digital
V5.0 May 16,1988 VAX Digital Mixed Interconnect VAXclusters, Symmetric Multiprocessing, expanded system management functions, and internationalization of terminal displays
V5.0-1 July 05.1988 VAX Digital
V5.0-2 September 06,1988 VAX Digital
V5.0-2A October 19,1988 VAX 6000 Digital


January 06,1989 VAX Digital VMS DECwindows and CDA
V5.1-B February 17,1989 VAX Digital


April 10,1989 VAX Digital
V5.2 July 23,1989 VAX 6000 Digital Major enhancements to BACKUP - improved performance, Cluster wide Process Services available, VAXcluster system limit raised to 96 computers, VMS Security Enhancements, enhancements to the VMS Debugger System Management Enhancement Support for the VAX 6000 Model 400 system, and MicroVAX and VAXserver 3100 Systems


September 14,1989 VAX 6000 Digital
V5.3 October 27,1989 VAX 6000 Digital Improved DECwindows software for workstations, Distributed Name Service (DNS) for network based systems, Enhanced VAX Text Processing Utility (TPU) and Extensible VAX Editor (EVE), Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) support, New VMS DECwindows Graphics Option Support, Support for TA90E tape drive & RA92 DSA Disk
V5.3-1 January 30,1990 VAX 6000 Digital
V5.3-2 April 4,1990 VAX 6000 Digital


August 27,1990 VAX 6000 Digital Aquarius, Cirrus, Rigel/Vectors, HB Volume Shadowing

The VAXft 3000 system and Version 5.4 of VMS together offer fault tolerance and high application availability. New embedded VMS system services support DECtp architecture, providing features and enabling technologies for distributed transaction processing. VMS Volume Shadowing now provides new controller-independent cluster-wide shadowing capabilities for all DSA (Digital Storage Architecture) configurations. VAX RMS Journaling now supports distributed transactions, utilizing new embedded VMS TP services.

V5.4-0A September 24,1990 VAX 6000 Digital Fixes for VAX 6000 and VAX 9000. Hardware bugfixes to V5.4 Limited distribution - only shipped to 6000 & 9000 sites.
V5.4-1 November 19,1990 VAX 6000 Digital VMS maintenance kit and optional new functionality, LAT V5.4-1. V5.4-1 is minimum version required for support of VMS Volume Shadowing Phase II
V5.4-1A December 18,1990 VAX 6000 Digital Revised V5.4-1 kit for VAX 6000-400 Series Systems
V5.4-2 March 11,1991 VAX 6000 Digital Support for VAX 4000 Model 200 series, KFMSA adapter, various peripheral devices & option LAT V5.4-2 saveset


September 05,1991 VAX 6000 Digital Quality improvements to V5.4, DEMFA and FDDI support, Local Area VAXcluster Multiple Adapter Support, Autotuning. Lat V5.4-3 is an optional saveset. Lat software will no longer be optional in next VMS release. Latent hardware support.


November 1,1991 VAX 6000 Digital Support for Batch/Print, TMSCP server support, SCSI Shadowing V5.5 Multi-Adapter LAVc, IOSB enhancement for Vol Shad Phase II, Improved Cluster Failover, POSIX Hooks, DECdtm 1.1, Phase V hooks, RTL changes, Hardware support contained in 5.4-3.


June 06,1992 VAX 6000 Digital Quality improvements to V5.5, Batch/Print facility and Lock Manager


September 04,1992 VAX 6000 Digital OpenVMS VAX V5.5-2HW was a special hardware release that supported the following new VAX systems and peripherals:

VAX 7000 Model 600 & VAX 10000 Model 600 (Neon) VAX 4000 Model 400 (Omega-slow)/ VAX 4000 Model 100 (Cheetah-Q) MicroVAX 3100 Model 90 (Cheetah-W) / VAXstation 4000 Model 90 (Cougar) / RZ26 / TZ86 / ESE50



October 08,1992 VAX 6000 Digital Maintenance Release to update Versions V5.5, A5.5, V5.5-1, A5.5-1, V5.5-2HW, A5.5-2HW. Contains all the changes in V5.5-1. OpenVMS VAX V5.5-2 supercedes V5.5-2HW. This release also supports the new VAX Systems and Peripherals listed in V5.5-2 HW.
V1.0 AXP November 1992 Alpha Digital First release of OpenVMS AXP offers most of the base O/S functionality found in OpenVMS VAX V5.4-2


July 26,1993 VAX Digital Limited Hardware Release based on V5.5-2. Includes support for VAX 4000 models: 100A, 500A,600A,700A. Also supports 2nd SCSI adapter, KZDDA, on MicroVAX 3100 Model 90. Also includes support for DEFTA (FDDI to TURBOchannel adapter) and DEFQA (FDDI to Q-bus adapter)and Tagged Command Queuing (TCQ) for StorageWorks RAID Array 110 Subsystem.


July 16,1993 VAX Digital Limited Hardware Release based on V5.5-2. Includes support for VAXft model 810 system.


May 18,1993 Alpha Digital Second functional release of OpenVMS AXP. Adds OpenVMS cluster support, SMP, DECdtm V1.1, clusterwide batch & print queing subsystem, Infoserver initial system load support, xterminal support, ISO 9660, virtual I/O cache for standalone system.


June 7, 1993 VAX 7000 and VAX10000 Digital Functional release to include new features and security enhancements, i.e., Extended Physical Addressing up to 3.5 GB, Virtual Balance Slots, Extended Virtual Addressing, Virtual I/O Cache, $SCHED System Service, System Snapshot, ISO 9660 Standards Compliance, MSCP, Security Enhancements to make OpenVMS VAX C2 compliant.


October 18,1993 Alpha Digital Hardware support release based on V1.5. Includes support for DEC2000 models 300 & 500, and DEC3000 models 600, 600S, 800, 800S. Also includes support for the PMAZC TURBO channel adapter.


March 18.1994 VAX Digital Functional release containing all previous functionality of OpenVMS VAX V6.0 and OpenVMS VAX V5.5-2H4 releases plus: DECnet/OSI Full Names, PCSI, Per-Disk licensing for OpenVMS Volume Shadowing, support for Polycenter HSM, XQP+ perform ance enhancements, Infoserver Tape Backup, Debugger Heap Analyzer, LAT Symbiont customization.


May 05,1994 Alpha Digital Third AXP functional release. Achieves functional equivalence with OpenVMS VAX V6.1. Includes: PCSI (for O/S & LP installations), user written device drivers, system code debugger, DECdtm V1.2, movefile support, TMSCP tape server, modifiable LAT symbiont, class-architecture satellite booting XQP+, V6.0 security features, clusterwide virtual I/O cache, & more.


September 22,1994 Alpha Digital Support for AlphaStation 400 4/233,266, Alphastation 200 4/166,233


November 23,1994 Alpha Digital Support for AlphaServer 1000 4/233, AlphaStation 200 4/100,266, AlphaServer 400 4/166

VAX 6.2

May 15,1995 VAX Digital Enhances functional equivalence by providing the following features introduced in OpenVMS AXP V6.1: Dynamic Device Recognition, Command Recall, Personation System Services, LATmaster V2.0, Cluster Event Notification Services, and Show System Enhancements. This release also includes these new features: Support for System Dump file off system disk, TMSCP for SCSI tapes, New Mgmt. Station (ARGUS), Backup Manager, Cluster client license, XPG4 DEC C/C++ RTL, Shadowset limit expansion, Search Utility and Show Utility Enhancements, Automatic Foreign Commands, TCP/IP Hooks and Booting clusters without DECnet (LAN-MOP). Support for Controller Based Shadowing has been removed in OpenVMS VAX V6.2. The OpenVMS Freeware CD-ROM has been included in the OpenVMS V6.2 distribution kit.


May 15,1995 Alpha Digital Enhances functional equivalence by providing the following features included in OpenVMS VAX V6.1: SCSI II Tagged Command Queuing and DECnet/OSI Fullnames. This release also includes these new features: SCSI Clusters, Multi Site Clusters, PCI and ISA/EISA support, Token-ring support, TMSCP for SCSI tapes, New Management Station (ARGUS), Backup Manager, Cluster client license, XPG4 DEC C/C++ RTL, Shadowset limit expansion, Search Utility and Show Utility Enhancements, Automatic Foreign Commands, TCP/IP Hooks and Booting clusters without DECnet (LAN-MOP) The OpenVMS Freeware CD-ROM has been included in the OpenVMS V6.2 distribution kit.


December 06,1995 Alpha Digital Support for AlphaServer 2100A 5/250,300 2100A 4/275, AlphaStation 255/233,300

VAX V7.0

December 18,1995 VAX Digital Integrated support for TCP/IP Mail, standard socket library, and time zone support. Clusterwide $CREPRC, 1024 process identifiers in Queuing requests.


December 18.1995 Alpha Digital Introduced 64-bit virtual addressing and Kernel Threads capabilities. Also provided Fast Path, and Fast I/O plus the same functionality as Eagle.


February 22,1996 Alpha Digital Support for new low-end AlphaServer 1000

Support for CI to PCI adapter (CIPCA) Provides same support and functionality as Ghost.



May 21,1996 Alpha Digital AlphaServer 4100 5/300, 5/300E, 5/300 (Rawhide), AlphaServer 4000 5/300 & 5/400 (Wrangler), AlphaStation 500/500, Alpha Server 1000A 5/400, AlphaServer 300, AlphaServer 8200/8400 8200/8400 FWD SCSI clusters support. Plus, provides same support and functionality as Ghost and Zombie.


December 20,1996 VAX and Alpha Digital Provides new features specifically designed to improve performance and expand configuration flexibility for OpenVMS Clusters. Enhancements and new features focused on connecting OpenVMS with the Internet, extending Very Large Memory (VLM) capabilities introduced in OpenVMS Alpha V7.0, and making system management of OpenVMS systems easier. Key functionality: Memory Channel (Alpha), Extended VLM capabilities (Alpha), SCSI Device Naming (Alpha & VAX), High SCSI ID (Alpha), CI-to-PCI (CIPCA) adapter support, LAN Emulation Client and Classic IP support (Alpha), OpenVMS Internet Product Suite (Alpha & VAX), DECnet-Plus replaces DECnet Phase IV in the OpenVMS Alpha and VAX operating system installation and upgrade procedures, DECnet Phase IV available as a layered product, DECamds is licensed with the base operating system license, Mount and Shadow driver rewrites (Alpha & VAX), Callable Backup API (Alpha & VAX), OpenVMS Management Station V2.1 (Alpha & VAX), Dump file off the system disk (Alpha), Volume Shadowing mini-merge enabled on system disks, External authentication (Alpha & VAX), new DCL PIPE command, and Cluster Client and Volume Shadowing Per Disk License Enforcement.


October 22,1997 Alpha Digital Hardware update for the OpenVMS V7.1 Alpha release. Support for the following:

UltraSCSI: - KZPBA-CA adapter on AlphaServers 4100, 4000, 2100, 2100A, 2000, 1200, 1000, 1000A and 800 UltraSCSI disks such as RZ1BB, RZ1CB and RZ1DB HSZ70 UltraSCSI controller for the Enterprise Storage Array 10,000 (initially in Fast SCSI mode on the KZPSA adapter AlphaServer 800 5/500 AlphaServer 1200 DIGITAL Modular Computing Components: - Alpha 5/366 PICMG SBC - Alpha 5/433 PICMG SBC DE500-BA Network Adapter DE500-FA Network Adapter (run-time only)



March 03,1992 Alpha Digital Hardware update for the OpenVMS V7.1 Alpha release adding third party boot support


November 1998 Alpha Digital Includes all hardware supported in OpenVMS Versions 7.1-1H1 and 7.1-1H2, as well as the following new hardware support:

- Compaq AlphaServers GS60, GS140, DS10, DS20, DS20E and ES40 with remedial kits - Compaq AlphaStations XP900and XP1000 with remedial kis - Digital Personal Workstations with integrated IDE CD-ROM support - Ultra SCSI Clusters - KZPCM adapter - SCSI hub DWZZH-05, with four-node support in a SCSI multihost cluster system - Gigabit Ethernet - OpenVMS support for Compact/PCI - OpenVMS support for IDE CD-ROM Device Driver - MCII - Memory Channel V2.0



January 1999 VAX and Alpha Compaq Provides new features and enhancements that focus on the following areas:

Compaq Galaxy Software Architecture on OpenVMS Alpha, COM V1.0 for OpenVMS, Intra-Cluster Communication System Services (ICC), Clusterwide Logicals, Fibre Channel Storage Interconnect, Storage Multibus Failover, Gigabit Ethernet, Lock Manager, Smaller Disk Cluster Factors, Per-Thread Security Profiles, OpenVMS Backup, OpenVMS Management Station V3.1, Faster Image Activations, Windows Debug Extensions, Alpha Firmware Revision Checking, RMS Global Buffer Hashing, Java Development Kit V1.1.6, Netscape FastTrack Server, Dual formatted OpenVMS Online Doc CDROM, DIGITAL TCP/IP Services V5.0 for OpenVMS, New UNIX style command interface, CIDR Support, BIND 8.1, Load Broker, NTP Enhancement, New SNMP Implementation, DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), Gated, Extended File System Support by FTP, DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS V7.2, Advanced Server V7.2 for OpenVMS (Alpha).



May 1999 Alpha Digital Provides support for Compaq AlphaServers GS60, GS140 and DS20 which include the new 21264 processor technology; OpenVMS Galaxy configurations on Compaq AlphaServers GS60 and GS140 systems; new Fibre Channel storage interconnect support on AlphaServer 800, 1200, 4000, 4100, 8200 and 8400 systems; Gigabit Ethernet, a new high bandwidth standard in Ethernet technology; Memory Channel Version 2.0.


June 1999 Alpha Digital Includes all the capabilities of OpenVMS Alpha V7.2 plus provides the following new support: COM V1.1 for OpenVMS (with NT authentication); Compaq AlphaServers GS140, GS60, GS60E, ES40, DS20, and DS10; Compaq Galaxy Software Architecture on OpenVMS AlphaServers GS140, GS60 and GS60E; Compaq AlphaStation XP900 workstation; New Fibre Channel storage interconnect support on AlphaServer 800, 1000A, 1200, 4000, 4100, 8200, 8400, GS60, GS60E, and GS140 systems; Gigabit Ethernet, a high bandwidth standard in Ethernet technology; Memory Channel Version 2.0; Multipath failover with shadowing support for parallel SCSI and Fibre Channel configurations; Intel Fast Ethernet (10/100); Multiple tape density fixes; Remedial kit fixes from December '98 to May '99

The following layered products have been updated and are included in the OpenVMS V7.2-1 kit: Advanced Server V7.2A for OpenVMS Alpha, DIGITAL TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS V5.0A, Availability Manager V1.2, DECnet-Plus V7.2-1, and Netscape FastTrack Server V3.01A.



June 2000 Alpha Digital Includes all the capabilities of OpenVMS Alpha V7.2-1 plus provides the following new support: OpenVMS support for Compaq AlphaServer GS160 and GS320 systems, OpenVMS support for hard and soft partitions (Galaxy) on AlphaServer GS160 and GS320 systems, OpenVMS Resource Affinity Domain (RAD) support for applications, new Spinlock Tracking Utility in SDA, RMS Locking enhancements, and remedial fixes from May, 1999 to mid-March, 2000.


April 2001 VAX and Alpha HPE Provides the following new capabilities: Improved disaster tolerant capabilities with ATM & Gigabit Ethernet as cluster interconnects, greater system availability during backups with faster reintregration of shadow members after copies, enhanced VMS support for the latest ENSA Storage offerings, greater serviceability for the new AlphaServer GS systems with CPU Online Add/Remove, application performance benefits with Extended File Cache, improved Cluster, SMP and system performance through enhancements to RMS and the clusterwide Lock Manager and Fastpath support for Fibre Channel and SCSI storage, industry standard Kerberos V5 security, VMS Intrusion Detection expands to be cluster-wide, ECP Data Collector and ECP Performance Analyzer are included with operating system, plus the OpenVMS license is expanded to include all these new eBusiness technologies: Compaq Secure Web Server V1.0 for OpenVMS Alpha (Based on Apache), Mozilla Web Browser (Alpha only), COM for OpenVMS, Extensible Markup Language API (XML parser), Java (TM) 2 SDK, Standard Edition V1.2.2, Attunity Connect "On Platform" Package (native JDBC driver included), Reliable Transaction Router (RTR), and OpenVMS Enterprise Directory for eBusiness (X.500).


August 2001 Alpha HPE OpenVMS Alpha V7.2-2 contains all of the features that were available in OpenVMS Alpha V7.2-1 and V7.2-1H1, as well as the following enhancements: Increased system performance and SMP scaling, Volume Shadowing Minicopy feature, support for Fibre Channel-Attached Tapes, updates Registry Server, Security enhancements, and LAN ATM Adapter support. OpenVMS Alpha V7.2-2 is the recommended version to co-exist in mixed version clusters with OpenVMS V7.3.


August 2002 Alpha Digital OpenVMS Alpha V7.3-1 focuses on expanding our OpenVMS SAN offering, improving system availability, providing I/O and SMP performance improvements and enhanced security. This release also includes enhancements to make it much easier to port UNIX applications to OpenVMS. It also delivers the highest levels of availability, scalability, flexibility, performance and security that are required for ebusiness.


October 2003 Alpha HPE OpenVMS Alpha V7.3-2 focuses on increased I/O and SMP performance, improved system availability, expanded Storage Area Network (SAN) offerings, and enhanced security, UNIX portability and system management features. This release also provides support for new AlphaServer GS1280 65P and DS15 systems, as well as all existing AlphaServer systems.


Never released


June 2003 Alpha and limited evaluation for Integrity HPE The OpenVMS V8.0 Evaluation Release for HP Integrity Servers runs on rx2600 McKinley based Integrity servers. This evaluation kit was only available to selected OpenVMS ISVs and Partners. The goal was to work very closely with a limited number of partners to start porting their applications for a broad spectrum of the OpenVMS solutions in the market.


December 2003 Integrity HPE The OpenVMS V8.1 Evaluation Release for HP Integrity Servers runs on rx2600 and rx4640 Integrity servers. The evaluation kit is available for those who want to get a jump on porting their environments to OpenVMS for Itanium architecture-based HP Integrity Servers in anticipation of the production quality release scheduled for H2CY2004.


February 2005 Alpha and Integrity HPE The OpenVMS V8.2 Production Release for HP Integrity Servers runs on rx1600-2, rx2600-2 and rx4640-8 systems. OpenVMS V8.2 includes Volume Shadowing support for host based mini-merge, infrastructure changes to support performance and scalability enhancements in future OpenVMS releases, as well as updates to security and standards. This release also includes support for mixed architecture AlphaServer and Integrity server clusters with shared fibre channel storage, up to 16 nodes.


July 2005 Integrity HPE The OpenVMS V8.2-1 release is an HP Integrity server-only release that introduces support for the newest Integrity cell-based rx7620, rx8620, and Superdome systems. OpenVMS V8.2-1 also continues support for all of the Integrity servers and options supported in OpenVMS V8.2. OpenVMS V8.2-1 is a replacement for OpenVMS V8.2 on Integrity. Standard support for OpenVMS V8.2 on Integrity ends June 2006 or when V8.3 ships. OpenVMS V8.2-1 includes performance and scalability enhancements, support for hard partitioning (nPar) on partitions up to 4 cells, expanded support for mixed architecture AlphaServer and Integrity system clusters, and low-cost multi-host SCSI clusters


July 2006 Alpha and Integrity HPE HP OpenVMS V8.3 for Alpha and Integrity server systems introduces support for the newest Integrity server (entry level mid-range and high-end systems including Superdome. V8.3 also continues support for all Integrity servers and options and new capabilities supported in V8.2 and V8.2-1. V8.3 includes expanded cluster configuration support, performance, scalability, security, standards and Adaptive Enterprise enhancements. Standard support for OpenVMS V8.2 on Integrity servers systems ends on December 31, 2006.


October 2007 Integrity HPE OpenVMS v8.3-1H1 for Integrity servers is the 30th anniversary edition of the OpenVMS operating system. It delivers new features, enhanced system management functionality for the BL860c Server Blade, and support for the latest revisions of the Dual-Core Intel Itanium processors for the rx2660, rx3600, rx7640, rx8640, and Superdome servers.


June 2010 Alpha and Integrity HPE OpenVMS v8.4 for Integrity servers and Alpha Systems introduces support for OpenVMS as a guest operating system in an HP Integrity VM environment on the Integrity platform. V8.4 delivers new and enhanced features Clusters over IP, Extended membership, Shadowing, 2TB Volume Support, Integrity with RADsupport HP TCP/IP Services Version 5.7 for OpenVMS, Provisioning with full install for the BL860c and Bl870c Server Blades and support for the Dual-Core Intel Itanium processors for the rx2620, rx2660, rx3600, rx6600, rx7640, rx8640, and Superdome servers.


June 2015 Alpha and Integrity VMS Software Inc. Cover Letter and Release Notes


March 2016 Alpha and Integrity VMS Software Inc. SPD and Quick Specs


March 2016 Alpha and Integrity VMS Software Inc. This new release is identical to the last Maynard release of OpenVMS, except for one major difference: all components of OpenVMS that rely on OpenSSL have been upgraded to use the latest VSI SSL release, VSI SSL1 V1.0, which is an implementation of the OpenSSL V1.0.2 standard. OpenSSL is used by many operating system functions, networking products, OpenVMS layered products, and open source applications.


April 2017 Alpha VMS Software Inc. Performance build - EV6/EV7


March 2021 Integrity VMS Software Inc. Support for additional hardware, OpenSSL and CHECKSUM utility updates


June 2021 x86 VMS Software Inc. Field Test release of OpenVMS on x86

See also